For far too long, Canadian government policies have demonized those trapped in the seemingly endless cycle that is addiction. Whether driven to substance abuse by poverty, peer pressure, circumstance, curiosity, or any other route, those who abuse substances are never given the aid they require to be able to escape their addiction. Instead, Canadian law continues to punish them rather than help them.
To better address drug use, particularly the unrelenting opioid epidemic currently hitting Canadian cities, we must adopt a 'health-first' view on the matter. This means seeing drugs as a health and mental wellness issue rather than a criminal issue. We can help Canadians heal and escape addiction with the right investments.
My vision for a drug-free Canada includes the decriminalization of some substances, raising the legal age to purchase cigarettes to 21, and the reallocation of budgetary ressources away from the punishment of drug use towards prevention and education.
: Similar to Portugal's 1999 National Strategy for the Fight Against Drugs.